Elk Grove City Councilman Holding Fundraiser as FPPC Financing Irregularities Looms in 2016

November 24, 2015 |

With his reelection race less than a year away, Elk Grove City Council Member Steve Detrick is cranking up the money machine and is holding a major fundraising event next week even as clouds are on his reelection horizon. 

Dubbed the "8th Annual Fundraiser For Councilman Steve Detrick," the event is scheduled for next Tuesday, December 1. According to the press release for the event, the second-term council member representing the city's third district is seeking sponsorship's costing up to $10,000. 

According to his most recent financial disclosures filed with the Elk Grove City Clerk's office, Detrick currently has $10,025 cash on hand in his campaign account. Even though Detrick raised $7,600 in the first six months of this year and $54,010 during the final six months of 2014, much of that cash went to repay loans he and his wife made to the campaign. 

The nature of these loans, how they were handled by Detrick, and the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) have created controversies that could dog him as he seeks a third term in 2016. 

Detrick's biggest controversy involves payments of over $93,000 in legal fees he made from his campaign fund on behalf of his son Brian. The younger Detrick was pursuing a defamation lawsuit against a community activist and had hired the Sacramento-based law firm of Boutin Jones.

Even though Detrick asserted that Brian's defamation lawsuit was related to his political activities and thus could be paid by his campaign funds, the FPPC disagreed and ordered Detrick to personally repay his fund the entire amount. Stating that he had personally repaid the $93,000 to his campaign fund in an October 2014 stipulation agreement, the FPPC agreed to impose a lower fine of $3,500. 

Months later, through an examination of his financial disclosure statements it was discovered that Detrick had in fact not personally repaid his campaign fund the $93,000. Further muddying the picture was the FPPC's admission that said while Detrick had not repaid the fund as he said, there was no further action they could take to compel his repayment.

Prior to that, in June 2014, Detrick was fined $1,500 for using his campaign funds to purchase a $425 vacation package at an auction that he and his wife then used.
While Mike Leary was the "devil-you-know" council member in 
2008, Steve Detrick 
has assumed that same position in 2016 

with 

real estate 

developers and other large political contributors. 

Although these controversies could hurt Detrick with voters, he can draw upon the man he defeated in 2008, former Elk Grove Council Member Mike Leary for inspiration. Like Detrick, Leary was seeking his third term while being saddled with negative political baggage.

In spite of his problems, Leary was able to continue funding his campaign thanks to real estate developers and business interests. Detrick was able to overcome this by lending his campaign over $90,000, which he ultimately repaid himself in large part from the contributors who once funded Leary. 

Sources have told EGN that in spite of Detrick's political problems, they are taking a "devil-you-know" stance and will continue to fund him. Short of a strong grassroots campaign, a candidate backed by another city council member, or someone who is willing to lend themselves up to $100,000, Detrick's fundraising machine should continue to roll and could be reelected. 

For his part, after losing to Detrick, Leary was convicted of misdemeanor real estate fraud against his former girlfriend.  





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8 comments

Mentor said...

"If you don't think I'm doing a good job, then vote me out!"

-Steve Detrick at Council meeting, 2015-

Mentor II said...

Let’s not forget that Detrick is currently under an active FPPC investigation for the same alleged use of campaign funds to pay Junior’s legal fees.

http://www.elkgrovenews.net/2015/05/elk-grove-city-council-member.html

IMO, Steve “The Mentor” Detrick is teaching his protégés how to break the campaign finance law and get away with it. Is the FPPC Chair going on the record at a public meeting stating, “Mr. Detrick wasn’t truthful,” something to which he would like Davis, Hume, Ly and Suen to aspire?

Thomas A. Anderson said...

Let's call it for what it is - Detrick, aka, The Mentor, lied to the FPPC and got away with it.

Having said that, the point about developers supporting the devil they know is accurate. They could care less if their man is pond scum, he is their pond scum and will do as told. That is the bottom line. Ly has learned this and I'm sure Suen will toe the line as well. They don't need The Mentor to learn that.

Detrick will get his third term and the developers will get what they want. One way or another, the developers will always get what they want. Just ask Detrick.

Warren Buffett said...

drumroll please.....may we present The 2015 FPPC Man of the Year Award!

Anonymous said...

To Thomas A. Anderson:

As least Leary never hid who he was. He embraced both his inner and outer pond scum. Detrick, on the other hand, pontificated from his pedestal about “honesty, integrity, accountability and morality.” And in my opinion when his attention-seeking ego took over, unable to resist the power, and how it corrupts a person of unprincipled character, we see that they are actually birds of a feather

Anonymous said...

The older parts of Elk Grove are well on their way to becoming south Sacramento south.

Keep building and the residents will keep abandoning established neighborhoods.

Naomi said...

This district really needs to find a viable candidate to run vs. Mr. Detrick. We need change and we need it now. I'm sure Mayor Davis is scouring the landscape looking for his next puppet boy to fall in line with his hair-brained schemes. He already has established puppets in Suen and Ly.

Mr. Detrick has shown that his ego and his need for the mighty dollar win out over the best interests of this city. He's established that he's thinks he's above the law, and flaunts his bravado adnauseum. The fact that his total lack of integrity has been established and well documented should give any candidate a window to get this incumbent out of office.

Someone, please step forward.

Scrooge said...

Steve “The Mentor” Detrick sent out a message last asking people to RSVP for his fundraiser by Friday, November 27th. Doesn’t the man know that people are going to be enjoying a long holiday weekend with family and friends and shouldn’t give a damn about his thirst for their money?

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